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The Skills Companies Need Most – And How to Learn Them

It turns out that professionals are keenly interested in learning new skills. And learning tends to spike in January, as people start the year focused on building new habits.

But the challenge is this: there are a minimum of 50,000 professional skills in the world, as stated by LinkedIn data. 50,000!

If you’re like the average human, you almost certainly have time to learn a a small number of skills this month. That begs the question: of those 50,000 skills you could potentially learn, which should you learn today to help you stand out all year?

To find out, we utilized exclusive LinkedIn data to establish the skills companies demand most. These skills are the skills your superior and your superior’s boss find most significant, but have a hard time discovering – and the skills that’ll most help you better serve your clients and customers.

So consider this article your model to the skills most worth learning.

The Soft Skills Companies Need Most 

Reinforcing a soft skill is one of the greatest decisions you can make in your career, as they never go out of style. Also, the rise of AI is simply making soft skills more and more important, as they are exactly the type of skills robots can’t automate.

That’s why 57% of senior leaders today say soft skills are more important than hard skills.

What are the soft skills businesses are seeking most in 2019? They are:

  1. Creativity

Suggested Courses:  The Five-Step Creative Process, Creativity BootcampCreativity: Generate Ideas in Greater Quantity and Quality

Why it’s important, in one sentence: While robots are fantastic at enhancing old concepts, organizations most need creative employees who can think of the answers of tomorrow.

  1. Persuasion

Suggested Courses: Becoming A Thought LeaderPersuading OthersAdvanced Consumer Behavior

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Having a fantastic product, a wonderful platform or a magnificent idea is one thing, but the key is convincing people to buy into it.

  1. Collaboration

Suggested Courses: Being an Effective Team Member, Collaboration Principles and ProcessBusiness Collaboration in the Modern Workplace

Why it’s important, in one sentence: As projects grow ever more intricate and worldwide in the age of AI, the effective partnership only grows more imperative.

  1. Adaptability

Recommended Courses: Developing Adaptable Employees, Strategic AgilityDeveloping Adaptability as a Manager

Why it’s important, in one sentence: An adjustable mind is an important tool for traversing today’s ever-changing world, as yesterday’s answers won’t answer tomorrow’s questions.

  1. Time Management

Suggested Courses: Finding Your Time Management StyleTony Schwartz on Managing Your Energy for Sustainable High PerformanceTime Management for Managers

Why it’s important, in one sentence: An eternal skill, become skilled at time management today will help you the rest of your career.

The Hard Skills Companies Need Most 

The skills on this list reveal the effect of our increasingly digital world. Yes, that indicates an increase in cloud computing and AI, but it also indicates an increase in refining that digital experience (i.e. UX Design, web development, etc.).

Digital is also providing fresh uses for skills – for instance, there’s increased request for audio production. This was a skill previously needed for radio production; today, it’s used for creating podcasts and digital ads.

Here is a list of  the hard skills companies need most as stated by LinkedIn data:

  1. Cloud Computing

Suggested Courses: Learning Amazon Web Services (AWS) for Developers, Learning Cloud Computing: NetworkingAWS for Architects: Advanced Security

Why it’s important, in one sentence: As the world hurries toward the cloud, corporations are urgently searching for engineers who possess the skills to contain this demand.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

Suggested Courses: Artificial Intelligence Foundations: Machine LearningArtificial Intelligence Foundations: Neural NetworksMachine Learning, and AI Foundations: Classification Modeling

Why it’s important, in one sentence: It is official — the Age of AI is here.

  1. Analytical Reasoning

Suggested Courses: Decision Making StrategiesMaking DecisionsExecutive Decision Making

Why it’s important, in one sentence: As they gather more information than ever before, corporations are hungry for specialists who can make smart conclusions based off of it.

  1. People Management

Suggested Courses: Managing Team Conflict, Motivating, and Engaging Employees Leading with Purpose

Why it’s important, in one sentence: The world has transformed from a “command-and-control” model in the direction of leaders who can teach and empower, a challenging skillset few specialists possess.

  1. UX Design

Suggested Courses: UX Design: 01 OverviewUX Foundations: Multidevice DesignUX Research for Agile Teams

Why it’s important, in one sentence: UX design is the solution to making a digital world viable for humans.

  1. Mobile Application Development

Suggested Courses:  iOS 12 Development Essential Training: 1 Fundamental, UI, and ArchitectureReact Native Essential TrainingiOS 12 Development Essential Training: 2 Web Content, Views, and Distribution

Why it’s important, in one sentence: A skill that has been in demand for more than a few years as businesses continue to create mobile-first platforms.

  1. Video Production

Suggested Courses: Video Foundations: Cameras and ShootingFoundations of Video: The Art of EditingWeb Video for Business: Creating a Web Series

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Request for video production is increasing as video streaming embodies 70 percent of all user Internet traffic.

  1. Sales Leadership

Suggested Courses: Sales Management FoundationsSales CoachingSales: Data-Driven Sales Management

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Sales is one of those skills that is constantly in-demand, and accomplished sales leaders are only becoming tougher and tougher to find.

  1. Translation

Suggested Courses: Communicating Across CulturesDeveloping Cross-Cultural IntelligenceInDesign: Multilingual Publishing Strategies

Why it’s important, in one sentence: We are more connected globally than ever before, with translation skills breaking down one of the last remaining barriers: language.

  1. Audio Production

Suggested Courses: Digital Audio FoundationsAudio Recording TechniquesTips & Tricks for Modern Producers

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Similar to video, there’s been a spike in interest in podcasts and other audio digital formats recently, leading to increased demand for this skill.

  1. Natural Language Processing

Suggested Courses: Artificial Intelligence Foundations: Thinking MachinesCreating Bots with the Microsoft Bot Framework, Part 2NLP with Python for Machine Learning Essential Training

Why it’s important, in one sentence: The technology behind Alexa and Google Home, everything from our cars to our light bulbs is now becoming voice-activated.

  1. Scientific Computing

Suggested Courses: Matlab Essential TrainingScala Essential Training for Data ScienceData Science Foundations: Python Scientific Stack

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Scientific computing is generally used to solve problems with massive amounts of data to consider – a need as companies continue to collect more and more data.

  1. Game Development

Suggested Courses: 2D Game Design and Development Essential TrainingCareers in the Game IndustryC# for Unity Game Development

Why it’s important, in one sentence: In yet another sign of providing a better experience for digital users, the demand for those who can develop compelling online games remains strong.

  1. Social Media Marketing

Suggested Courses: B2B Foundations: Social Media MarketingMarketing on InstagramSocial Media Marketing: Social CRM

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Social media continues to be a popular way to communicate with others digitally, as new platforms disrupt the market.

  1. Animation

Suggested Courses: Animation Foundations: FundamentalsAnimation Foundations: GestureMaya 2018: Bifröst Fluids

Why it’s important, in one sentence: No surprise to see an animation on the list, considering the surge of video traffic and the increasing prevalence of the GIF.

  1. Business Analysis

Suggested Courses: Business Analysis FoundationsAgile Requirements FoundationsLearning Digital Business Analysis

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Similar to data-driven decision making, more and more companies are relying on analysts to help them guide strategic investments.

  1. Journalism

Suggested Courses: Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing MasteryShane Snow on StorytellingEditing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Once a dwindling skill, journalism isn’t just for journalists anymore as marketing and content teams alike vie for people who can tell compelling stories.

  1. Digital Marketing

Suggested Courses: Marketing TipsBrand and Marketing IntegrationMarketing Foundations: Growth Hacking

Why it’s important, in one sentence: With the rise of digital, it’s no surprise to see digital marketing as the most in-demand marketing skill on the list.

  1. Industrial Design

Suggested Courses: Industrial Design FoundationsDesign Foundations: Prototyping and ManufacturingProduct Design: From Sketch to CAD

Why it’s important, in one sentence: The demand for those who can design something that is both practical and eloquent will never go away.

  1. Competitive Strategies

Suggested Courses: Developing a Competitive StrategyBusiness Development Foundations: Researching Market and Customer NeedsBusiness Development Foundations

Why it’s important, in one sentence: Virtually all companies are facing increased competition, with organizations starved for people who can help them stay abreast and ahead of their competitors.

  1. Customer Service Systems

Suggested Courses: Handling Abusive CustomersCustomer Service in Your First Retail JobBuilding Rapport with Customers

Why it’s important, in one sentence: In a world where one bad experience can lead to a tweet the whole world sees, consistent customer service is increasingly paramount.

  1. Software Testing

Suggested Courses: Test Automation FoundationsBehavior-Driven DevelopmentScripting for Testers

Why it’s important, in one sentence: New software is hitting the market at record-numbers – requiring more and more people who can ensure they actually work.

  1. Data Science

Suggested Courses: Data Analytics for Pricing Analysts in ExcelData Science Tools of the Trade: First StepsData Science Foundations: Data Engineering

Why it’s important, in one sentence: An in-demand skill for the past several years, there is still a strong need for those who can make sense of the magnitude of data.

  1. Computer Graphics

Suggested Courses: Learning OpenGLAutoCAD Mechanical Essential TrainingAutoCAD: Advanced 3D Modeling

Why it’s important, in one sentence: As a sizeable part of our digital world goes from 2D to 3D, companies are looking for people who can foster that transition.

  1. Corporate Communications

Suggested Courses: Crisis CommunicationWriting a Press ReleasePublic Relations Foundations: Media Training

Why it’s important, in one sentence: With social media, local mistakes can lead to global outrages, requiring people who can manage difficult situations.

Methodology: “The skills companies need most” was established by examining skills that are in high demand in relation to their supply. Demand is gauged by recognizing the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting employed at the highest rates. Only cities with 100,000 LinkedIn users were included.